Docusate (pronEng|ˈdɒkjuːseɪt) is the generic name of a surfactant used as a laxative and stool softener [sold in the U.S. under multiple brand names: Aqualax, Calube, Colace, Colace Micro-Enema, Correctol Softgel Extra Gentle, DC-240, Dialose, Diocto, Dioctocal, Dioctosoftez, Dioctyn, Dionex, Doc-Q-Lace, Docu Soft, Docucal, Doculax, Docusoft S, DOK, DOS, Doss-Relief, DSS, Dulcolax - Stool Softener, Ex-Lax Stool Softener, Fleet Sof-Lax, Genasoft, Kasof, Laxa-basic, Modane Soft, Octycine-100, Regulax SS, Sulfalax Calcium, Sur-Q-Lax, Surfak Stool Softener and Therevac-SB.] [IN the UK sold under the brand name Docusol (Typharm Ltd)]

Docusate is also any of a group of anionic surfactants widely used as emulsifying, wetting, and dispersing agents.

Clinical use

Docusate is given to make stools softer and easier to pass. It is used to treat constipation due to hard stools, in painful anorectal conditions such as hemorrhoids, and for people who should avoid straining during bowel movements. Of note is that the effect of docusate may not necessarily be all due to its surfactant properties. Perfusion studies suggest that docusates inhibit fluid absorption or stimulate secretion in jejunum. Patients should take plenty of water to help the movement of feces, therefore speeding up the initial bowel movement.

While the use of docusate is widespread, the data to support its efficacy in treating chronic constipation is actually lacking. Also, although more research is needed, long term use of docusate seems to decrease levels of magnesium and potassium in the blood.Fact|date=February 2008

Docusate should not be used in addition to mineral oil as the emulsifier will result in mineral oil being absorbed rather than functioning as a lubricant for the bowel walls.

Docusate sodium is also used to facilitate the removal of excess ear wax in a process known as cerumen removal.


*Docusate is available in tablet, capsule, liquid, and rectal enema.
*Docusate calcium [USP] and docusate potassium [USP] are anionic surfactants used as stool softeners and are administered orally.
*Docusate sodium [USP] is anionic surfactant used as a stool softener and is administered orally or rectally; as a tablet disintegrant or as an emulsifier and dispersant in topical preparations. When sold as Colace, it is docusate sodium, or sodium salt of dioctyl sodium sulfosuccinate (DSS). Some metabolism studies show that DSS is absorbed by the body from the gastrointestinal tract, undergoing extensive metabolism. In humans, the main way DSS metabolites are excreted is via the feces.

Docusate sodium may be used in a daily regimen in persons who are undergoing narcotic pain medication therapy to reduce the effects of chronic constipation or hardened stools which can cause severe straining, impaction, and torn rectal tissues.


*The effect on stools is seen 1 to 3 days after the first dose.

Notes and References

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • docusate — Sustancia que ablanda las heces y se prescribe para el tratamiento del estreñimiento. Diccionario Mosby Medicina, Enfermería y Ciencias de la Salud, Ediciones Hancourt, S.A. 1999 …   Diccionario médico

  • docusate — noun A particular surfactant, used as a stool softener or laxative. If used as stool softener, administered orally as a gelcap or as liquid. The laxative effect is minimal to mild if administered orally and usually takes 1 to 3 days to produce… …   Wiktionary

  • docusate — doc·u·sate däk yu̇ .sāt n any of several laxative salts and esp. the sodium salt C20H37NaO7S used to soften stools see PERI COLACE * * * doc·u·sate (dokґu sāt) any of a group of anionic surfactants widely used as emulsifying, wetting, and… …   Medical dictionary

  • docusate calcium — A surface active agent used in the treatment of constipation as a nonlaxative fecal softener. SYN: dioctyl calcium sulfosuccinate. * * * [USP] an anionic surfactant used as a stool softener; administered orally …   Medical dictionary

  • docusate sodium — A surface active agent used as a dispersing agent in topically applied preparations. After oral administration it lowers the surface tension of the gastrointestinal tract and is used in the treatment of constipation as a wetting agent and …   Medical dictionary

  • docusate potassium — [USP] an anionic surfactant used as a stool softener; administered orally …   Medical dictionary

  • docusate sodium — dioctyl sodium sulphosuccinate a stimulant laxative and softening agent that is used to relieve constipation and prepare the bowel for radiological examination. It is administered by mouth or enema and may cause abdominal cramps. It is also used… …   The new mediacal dictionary

  • DOC POT — Docusate Potassium (Medical » Physiology) …   Abbreviations dictionary

  • DOS CAL — Docusate Calcium (Medical » Physiology) …   Abbreviations dictionary

  • Dioctyl sodium sulfosuccinate — Dioctyl sodium sulfosuccinate[1][2] …   Wikipedia

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